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Life Advice

Movement of Global Talent

By Ashleigh Fitzgerald

Study reveals people are “allergic” to travel for work purposes, we propose 3 ways companies can counteract this.


Several of our Antal offices are reporting a decline in the number of people open to travel and there is rising concern this could be a long-time impact from the Covid Pandemic.  Deeper analysis indicates there are a few reasons for this which will be discussed here.  It is important that companies need to keep this topic in mind, adapt and be flexible in their recruitment strategies.

The first reason for this reluctance to travel is over the recent months, travel restrictions have kept people close to home.  They are now comfortable with home life, not living out of a suitcase so the prospect of leaving this secure environment with close family connections is holding people back from accepting jobs in other counties. 

The second reason is the stay at home and local rules have also led to people being far more conscious of protecting not only their own families and not allowing foreigners to enter the country.  So, even if someone were open to travel for work, their welcome would be muted.  This is seen as an increase in nationalism which is the opposite of the open global village we were accustom to. 

The statistics support this argument, the movement of global talent prior to the pandemic was relatively fluid, with a high proportion of candidates being open to relocation.  People are however, changing their views on this and a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, titled, “Decoding Global Talent, Onsite and Virtual”, in conjunction with the data from jobsites, The Network and Total Jobs confirmed this.  According to their report published in March 2021, on the impact of covid on the labour market, which surveyed over 208,000 candidates, there has been a 25% reduction on the number of people open to travel, this is a considerable decline. 

There are 3 main actions companies can take to counteract this reduction in the global talent pool:

  1. Clients can look to the local market for their staff.  This may require working with local recruitment partners who are well connected with people near the sites.  Head hunting and search assignments are likely to increase as this local talent may not be active on the job market. 
  2. Another option to counteract this decline in the availability of talent, is for companies to work with remote staff.  This brings its own sequence of challenges which include the shift to virtual teams and the increase in reliance on technology.  It is a good solution to companies able to accommodate this and dedicate suitable projects.  However, there is a risk of increase vulnerability to IT security breaches, especially if working through unsecure platforms with unknown resource.  Working closely with your recruiter to source reliable and trustworthy staff is key.  Is your IT security team fully functioning?
  3. Companies could look to set up operations in other countries if there is a significant talent pool available from the local population.  An increase in reliable infrastructure has seen counties such as India, Pakistan and many African nations being viable options for companies to set up operations to attract the local staff.     


A positive trend identified in the Boston Consulting Group report on Global Talent was despite the decline in willingness to travel, London remained a top city for people to consider a move to.  Companies based in London still seems have a stronger talent draw factor.  This was followed by Amsterdam, UAE and Berlin.  On the other hand, the country with the strongest pull with people was Canada, which replaced the US for the top spot.  This is an interesting development from a recruitment perspective, as it indicates a future shift in demand from international clients who will look to capitalise on this and secure the best global talent. 

In conclusion, although there is a decline in the readiness of people to travel, the remote international working model is a good solution to source the right skills on a project with no disruption to family life.  Companies are adapting and working hard to overcome the complexities of different virtual teams, accommodating different time zones and cultural variations in their business. 

Fortunately, our determination to keep business moving and the increased use of video conferencing has been highly effective in bringing people closer together.  The obstacles to facilitating remote international working is proving worth the effort.

We at Antal International are ready to help you should your company be in the position of transitioning to global virtual teams.  With our international network of offices, we can tap into many local talent pools and find you the resource you need.  Contact any of our offices from more information. 

Written by: Ashleigh Fitzgerald – Operations Director, Antal International Network – 17th March 2021



Title: Kovács-Ondrejkovic, O; Strack, R; Baier. J; Antebi. P; Kavanagh, K; López Gobernado, A; (2021) “Decoding Global Talent, Onsite and Virtual”, published by Boston Consulting Group, The Network and Total Jobs

Available at:  Decoding-Global-Talent-Onsite-and-Virtual-Mar-2021.pdf (

Accessed: 17th March 2021